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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WALeg Day 50: Gas tax hike passes Senate 27-22

OLYMPIA -- A package of taxes that would raise gasoline taxes by 11.7 cents passed the Senate on a 27-22 vote this afternoon. It did not need a two-thirds majority to move through the Senate, because that rule is unconstitutional, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen said.

WALeg Day 50: Senate may vote on gas tax hike

OLYMPIA -- A proposal to raise the state gasoline tax might get a vote in the Senate today. The legislation was scheduled for a vote Friday until a parliamentary question arose about how big of a majority it needs.

Sunday Spin 2: Say what?

“Are those questions that could be resolved in the budget, or are those questions that would be resolved with a Ouija Board or something?"

House budget panel approves changing law to allow medical school

OLYMPIA – The prospects for a new medical school operated by Washington State University took a step forward late Friday evening as a key committee approved a bill to make that possible. Possible, but not mandatory, said some legislators.

Two Washington bills would get mentally ill help quicker

OLYMPIA – Seeking treatment for Washington’s mentally ill may soon become easier. The House Appropriations Committee passed two bills Friday that could involve mental health experts more quickly when friends, family or law enforcement have concerns about an individual. Both are aimed at preventing mental illness-related tragedies.

Senate OKs shift in road project spending

OLYMPIA – The Senate approved a controversial shift in spending for major road projects Friday but had to delay a vote on increasing the gasoline tax to settle a question of how many votes it would need to pass. Senators spent much of the day making changes to the state’s transportation policy, with a pointed debate over the sales tax that is charged for purchases on road, bridge and ferry projects. A key element of a bipartisan transportation package was to shift the sales tax from the state’s general fund – which pays for public schools, colleges and most social programs – to a fund that would use that money strictly for transportation.

Washington bill calls to adjust wolf plan

OLYMPIA – An Eastern Washington rancher lost some 300 sheep to wolves last year when the flock was sent to a grazing area that contained a wolf den. Wildlife experts monitoring recovery of wolves in the region knew where the den was, but area ranchers didn’t. Had the rancher known about the den, he wouldn’t have put some 1,800 sheep into the leased grazing area, said Rep. Joel Kretz, sponsor of a bill that would adjust a 2011 plan to avoid such losses through better communication and improved management of the region’s wolves.

Med school bill passes House budget committee

OLYMPIA – The prospects for a new medical school operated by Washington State University took a step forward late Friday evening as a key c committee approved a bill that would change law to make that possible.

WA Leg Day 47: Senate toughens animal cruelty law

OLYMPIA -- Keeping a pet in a hot car could get the owner a $125 fine, and first responders would be allowed to free the animal without facing certain liabilities under a bill approved by the Senate today.

Three bills in Washington would create new license plate designs

OLYMPIA – Washington drivers can choose from 47 specially designed license plates that support causes including breast cancer research, orca preservation, square dancing and lighthouse restoration. And drivers may soon have even more choices.

Speed limit boost for I-90 stretch gains traction

OLYMPIA – Washington’s speed limit could rise to 75 mph under proposals being considered by the Legislature. One bill to raise highway speed limits was fast-tracked through a House committee Thursday and could pave the way for 75 mph signs in some areas of the state.

WALeg Day 46: Possible changes to wolf management plan

OLYMPIA – An Eastern Washington rancher lost some 300 sheep to wolves last year when the flock was sent to a grazing area that contained a wolf den. Wildlife experts monitoring recovery of wolves in the region knew where the den was, but area ranchers didn’t.. . .

Washington lawmaker calls for focus on nuclear energy

OLYMPIA – The state should embrace nuclear energy by investing in small reactors that can fit on a train or semitruck, a Tri-Cities legislator says. Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, is the prime sponsor of eight bills that call for enhanced interest in nuclear energy. One of them got a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Washington Senate honors early Civil Air Patrol members

OLYMPIA – Richard Hagmann was working at a war production plant in his native Los Angeles in 1941 when a friend of a friend told him about a new group that flew airplanes to patrol the nation’s borders. Just out of high school the summer before, Hagmann had long been interested in aviation. Along with several other friends, he signed up for the Civil Air Patrol and was sent to El Paso, Texas, where he was a member of the ground crew for a unit patrolling the Mexican border.

WALeg Day 44: Budget panel OKs med school bill, warns WSU and UW

OLYMPIA – With warnings to the state’s two largest universities to work out their disputes, Senate budget writers approved a change in the law that would give Washington State University permission to start its own medical school in Spokane.

Bill would ban displaying, selling human remains

OLYMPIA – Selling or displaying human remains for commercial purposes would be illegal under a bill approved Friday by a House committee – except if it’s being done for educational reasons, or by a museum. The House Public Safety Committee agreed that selling or displaying human body parts for commercial purposes should be a felony under most circumstances. But it approved exemptions for legitimate medical studies, search and rescue training, and displays at a museum.